The Ides of March invites you to speculate about betrayal and compromise right from the very title. The candidate whose campaign we are entering is progressive and hopeful, a democrat who makes Obama look centrist. But from the beginning it seems clear that something more sinister is lurking somewhere beneath. The cinematography is dark, brooding, setting the tone.
Ryan Gosling is extremely strong in the role of young press secretary Stephen Meyers. Idealistic and driven, he carries the movie and makes it look effortless. Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman are fantastic as seasoned political operatives and rivals. The dialogue is expertly crafted, believable, and with how well the film was shot, I felt transported and engaged in this high-stakes political world.
As well as this film was acted (and it was), the plot is probably its weakest point. I’d encourage you to learn as little about it as you can about what happens before you see it to prevent it from seeming too cliched. I really enjoyed The Ides of March, in spite of its weaknesses, and I think it has something worthwhile to say both about the political process and about human nature. See it before it gets spoiled for you. (8/10)